Hull law student goes public with battle against mental health problems

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By Katie King on

Celine Ballantine says her selfies show her descent into depression, and urges people to be more open about their struggles

A law student at the University of Hull has chosen to go public with her experiences of mental health problems to inspire others to be more open.

Celine Ballantine admitted to her Facebook friends she has felt “unhappy”, “unmotivated” and “unsuccessful” for as long as she can remember. Posted days before University Mental Health Day, her candid post said:

I felt as if it was almost impossible some mornings to leave my bed because at the end of the day – What was the point? Nothing had a purpose. Ive had people yell at me say ‘Just get up’ ‘Stop being lazy’ but truth is , for anyone else that has experiend anything similar it is not that easy. And the days you do manage to move from bed you feel like a gold medal should be awarded.

Ballantine — who is currently receiving treatment in Cygnet Hospital, Harrogate — directed her Facebook friends to four photographs of herself taken on different days. The photos, when looked from left to right, show how her mental health issues have physically affected her.

She made the same post on her Instagram page.

It’s not uncommon for students, especially those reading intense subjects like law, to suffer from depression, anxiety and/or stress throughout their degree. This was a topic explored for Legal Cheek by Josh Dowson, a student at the London School of Economics. He argued that law school culture is due a shake-up: anxiety and doubt need to be de-stigmatised so more people are willing to talk about it and be more open. Social media storytelling like Ballantine’s is an example of this.

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